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The Princess and the Page
 

THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE

A mystical adventure about a pulls-no-punches princess and the power of her magical pen.

A dark secret lurks in Keira’s family. She comes from a long line of Word Weavers, who bring their stories to life when they use a magical pen. But for generations Word Weavers have been hunted for their power. That’s why Keira is forbidden to write. When Keira discovers her grandma’s Word Weaver pen, and writes a story for the Girls’ World fairy-tale contest, she starts to wonder if anyone ever truly lives happily ever after. Inspired by the life and times of Gabrielle d’Estrées, a real French princess who lived during the 1500s, The Princess and the Page follows the mystical journey of a modern-day “royal” who goes from having a pen in her hand to wishing for the world at her fingertips.






PRAISE FOR THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE


“The pace is effective for building a deep sense of mystery . . . in Keira’s first-person narrative, readers will discover clues right along with her.” — Booklist

“Keira’s first-person, present-tense narration . . . works. The story’s overarching theme of the power of words is timely and poignant . . . A smart, peppery, action-packed plot teams up with playful, astute characters.” — Kirkus Reviews   
   
“The shimmering jacket illustration by Petur Antonsson will surely catch the eyes of young readers and lure budding princesses to read about the sapphire blue pen’s magic powers.” — Recommended by School Library Connection

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FOR TEACHERS

Teacher Guide
Pre-Visit Activities
Reader’s Theater for THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE


PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS


Kirkus Reviews
A magical pen leads 12-year-old white Keira Harding on a dark fairy-tale adventure. During a robbery at her home, Keira runs to her parents’ bedroom to find a phone and call for help. Instead, she finds a glowing antique pen and, in desperation, writes a list of what to do. To her amazement, everything on the list appears to come true. Keira keeps the pen (hiding her possession of it from her parents) and uses it to write a fairy tale for a story contest–in direct contravention of her mother’s seemingly unreasonable command that she not write any stories ever. When her story wins the contest and Keira, her mother, and Bella, Keira’s brown-skinned, black-haired best friend, go to France to stay for a week in the Château de Chenonceau as the prize, the girls are thrilled–at first. At the castle, strange events transpire, and Keira cannot help but notice that they have an eerie resemblance to the fairy tale she wrote. Keira’s first-person, present-tense narration, with a close eye to detail, oscillates between mature observations and lighthearted girl-stuff. It works. The story’s overarching theme of the power of words is timely and poignant–but the book’s cover art imparts a clichéd Disney-esque look that may turn off more serious readers. A smart, peppery, action-packed plot teams up with playful, astute characters.

School Library Connection
Recommended
“Why would Keira’s mother forbid her to read novels and write anything but fiction? It turns out Keira is a Word Weaver, exactly like her mother and grandmother, which spells disaster when the powerful secret is revealed. Keira writes a fanciful fairy tale with a shining pen and wins a contest from Girl’s World magazine with a trip to a French castle as prize. However, once at the Chateau de Chenonceau, her story seems to wreak havoc on reality, opening a path to a ghostly world and a real-life princess. Keira plays amateur sleuth to find out how to change the tale’s unhappy ending, but encounters some fierce enemies and bizarre occurrences along the way. The shimmering jacket illustration by Petur Antonsson will surely catch the eyes of young readers and lure budding princesses to read about the sapphire blue pen’s magic powers. This middle grade contemporary fantasy follows Farley’s popular Gilded trilogy for young adults.” – Lonna Pierce

Booklist
Keira’s life is dominated by her mother’s strict rules: no stories, no fantasies; only facts and science. But when she discovers her grandmother’s magic pen, her mother’s rules go out the window, because the pen makes anything she writes come to life. What a perfect time to enter a fiction-writing contest! Winning the contest earns her a trip to France, and while she’s living a real-life fantasy, she starts to realize that she and others are in danger. Meanwhile, she’s trying to save the princess she wrote about, but there are potential consequences: she may end up trapped in her own story. The tale unfolds slowly in short chapters, which might make this a challenging read for some, though the pace is effective for building a deep sense of mystery. Slowing down works for the overall mystery, though, particularly since, in Keira’s first-person narrative, readers will discover clues right along with her. Drawing inspiration from many classic fairy tales, this would be a good pick for fans of Melissa de la Cruz’s The Isle of the Lost (2015). — Kristina Pino

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